WASHINGTON -- The Senate yesterday gave the $11 billion Superconducting Super Collider its most critical vote of confidence yet, rejecting by 57 to 42 an amendment that would have killed funding for the Texas nuclear physics research project in the fiscal year that beings today.

Senate sponsors said the vote -- tabling an amendment like the one approved overwhelmingly in the House in June to cut all but $220 million of close-out funding -- was the turning point in the fight to save the collider this year.

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